Jimena Gusberti: “I like books that don’t protect children”
He has been involved in education for more than thirty years. She specializes in children’s and youth literature and works to promote reading. He has had a spot on Radio Nacional Resistencia for some time, in the program Aire de Mañana. Their micros are recorded on the radio page and it is possible to access their recommendations for short stories, novels and poetry. There are authors from the region and the country who shine with their voices.
“Artistic languages are boiling and Resistencia is a city that generates artistic activities in various branches – literature, music, theater, plastic arts, among others. My family was interested in art and my path to reading started there, with the desire to read books since I was a child. I continued with this interest in adolescence and then chose the career of letters”, this is how Jimena Gusberti experiences her beginnings as a reader.
When he studied as a literature teacher more than thirty years ago, there was no children’s literature major. In those years there was an editorial explosion, there were many people who wrote about boys and girls. But the field of study of literature in these areas was not yet formalized, it was in full form. Today it is consolidated.
A girl talks to adults who bring her books. He looks at the shelves and his eyes run over the names of writers and writers of various kinds. Words, flashing metaphors, allow you to dream or create worlds. In the conversation, Jimena revealed the intimacy of her home: “My family was a municipal family, they invested in books and we had texts on politics, social sciences, art, among other things. But I wanted to read adventure books and worlds of I found those books I was looking for in my public school. The school library was a refuge. Today I think about it and I am convinced that a very valuable part of my education came from school libraries. There were appropriate people in the library who invited me to read and who texted me all the time. I was a reading girl,” she says, her smile evident in the friendly and warm voice that comes through the phone.
She likes to talk about books, reading and culture. He does radio programs and is currently training himself to do podcasts to promote reading in other formats.
She is a professor of literature, graduated from the National University of the Northeast (UNNE) and has a master’s degree in reading promotion and children’s literature from the University of Castilla-La Mancha. For these and other reasons, Jimena Gusberti arrived. The words color a telephone communication that we prepared for days to emphasize the importance of reading to children and adolescents.
Why is it important to read to children?
Jimena smiles. His words come more slowly through the phone, as if someone is turning down the volume on a song. For a moment there is a pause as she walks the axis of the interview.
— To be more careful, we can reformulate the question: why is it important for a person to read?
— Because sometimes we put all our expectations on boys and girls, but things become systematized and valuable when they understand that reading is good in their environment. Beyond speech conducive to reading, the most important thing is the practice of reading, which is visible in the behavior of adults. If not, how can we postpone in childhood the need for reading while something else is being done in the adult world.
— Here we enter another debate that affects adults. Do you read more or less today than before?
— Of course, this is a perennial topic in seminars today. Today, people read twice as much as before, but the question is what they read. Today, people read, write or view messages all the time, but… what’s on the menu? Literary experience, if not taken care of, can be harmful. Reading practice is good, but you need to know how to select and review what you read.
The reading experience is beautiful no matter how old you are. Besides, it’s nice to be read to. We love to be read to because that’s where a connection is made, the reader puts a voice and interpretation to a text. When you read, you accompany the construction of meaning; it is irreplaceable and a unique experience. This is an experience that cannot be gained in any other way. When you are read, something special happens. I support repeated reading in childhood.
— Is there special literature for children and adolescents?
“This is an open discussion. There are different thoughts on this: on the one hand, you have the “classic” authors who today we call classics, but who then did not write for girls and boys. For example, Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault, one of the world’s most traditional stories, was not intended for children. It is a very old story that comes from oral tradition collected by Perrault, who wrote it down in French and arranged it for the courtiers in one of the first written versions to circulate. From then until today, we have thousands of versions of the same story. For this reason, I insist, there are many authors who wrote for adults or for young people and later childhood appropriated them.
On the other hand, there is a trend which claims that there is literature for children and adolescents. That’s the edge of the market: that’s where the tension is created where there are people who write about boys and girls who have lived in this world less time and therefore have different resources for constructing meaning. With these questions in mind, there are writers who put first the construction of the literary, that is, they put in the foreground how to say certain things, and then reveal the subject they are talking about. Because in the end it’s about giving children and adolescents the right to metaphor. Metaphorical language is the channel for creating an imaginary world, and that’s why I like books that don’t protect children.
— You mentioned the story of Little Red Riding Hood, is the segment also slated for rewrites?
-Of course. This story, for example, is a classic that has undergone many modifications and reworkings. This is what we call rewriting. We have writers who are already thinking about the circulation of their work. The one who writes “for”. On the other hand, there are publishers who focus on selling. The whole chain of children’s literature is a segment of the market, it is segmented on itself.
For example, you take the back cover of a book and find all the information: about the teacher who wants to use it, about the father or mother who will buy it, there are several para-textual elements designed for you to consume this material.
— On the radio, you make several recommendations from different genres, which do you feel most comfortable with?
– I’m a reader. I strive to surprise myself as a reader. I have been working in the promotion of reading for over twenty years, and in all those years it has made me read everything. I like literature to make me think, with unexpected characters that open up the game to different themes. Poetry is the most surprising thing, it renews inside the poetic word, it touches intimate fibers and it is important that something resonates. I also like to re-read. I go back to a book when I’m preparing something for the radio, so I re-read a lot.